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Seated Dumbell Press - Exercise for the Shoulder Muscles



Have a look at some of the articles published in previous issues of BetterU News...

The CURE For Stubborn Shoulders... The Two-Phase Barbell Shoulder Press

Improvise a Shoulder Press Machine

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Seated Dumbell Shoulder Press

Home -> Exercises -> Seated Dumbell Shoulder Press

Primary Muscles Worked: Description:
Deltoids - Anterior, Posterior and Lateral Heads The muscles of the shoulders. The muscle is comprised of 3 separate heads.
Secondary Muscles Worked: Description:
Triceps Brachii The muscles of the back of the arms.

The Seated Dumbell Shoulder Press exercise develops the entire shoulder muscle group. The dumbells allow for a greater freedom of movement than the Barbell Shoulder Press. This can increase shoulder muscle activation.

How to Do The Seated Dumbell Shoulder Press:

Top Position of the Seated Dumbell Shoulder Press Bottom Position of the Seated Dumbell Shoulder Press
  • These are done using an adjustable incline bench set to just under 90 degrees.

  • Using two dumbells, with a palms forward grip and starting with the dumbells at shoulder level, press them up overhead in an arc.

  • Do not crack them together at the top and do not lock your elbows out (this will keep tension on the delts).

  • Lower slowly and repeat.

Tricks For Performing The Seated Dumbell Shoulder Press:

This trick will increase the tension in the delts.

  • While you are pressing the dumbells, keep your hands tilted down towards your head so that your pinkies are higher than your thumbs.
  • This will mean tipping the dumbells slightly down and in towards your head as though pouring water on yourself.
  • This position forces the tension to remain on the shoulder muscles.

Common Errors in the Seated Dumbell Shoulder Press:

  • Not pressing the dumbells directly overhead - sometimes the dumbells have a tendency to be pressed in a forward diagonal press, ending up out in front of the head.
  • This is because of the relative strength imbalances in many people - their front muscles are stronger than their back muscles, therefore the dumbells get pulled to the front.
  • You must consciously press up and back to correct this, keeping your elbows back as you do so.
  • Use a mirror to be sure you are pressing the dumbells directly overhead.
  • Also, get feedback from a spotter, who can gently guide the dumbells in the proper position.



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